Friday, April 3, 2009

Cluttered Workspace or Quilter's Paradise??

Cluttered workspaces aren't the exclusive domain of writers.

Janet Best of Bowling Green, KY is a quilter, a lover of color and texture and design. Janet had this to say about her workspace:

"My workspace is definitely messy! In fact, I think I sort of leave a "trail of messiness" wherever I go. When my children were small and I stayed at home with them, my husband would call home to check on us from work. I would often reply that "Hurricane Son--one of the 3" has not yet made land-fall. That was my signal to my husband that he should expect a mess when he came home. Now I feel like "Hurricane Janet" will never make land-fall! Maybe it's not that bad.

"My hobby is quilting. Our house is not large enough to accommodate two adults, three boys and three dogs with various possessions. We finally converted our dining room into a study/hobby room/activity and art room since we rarely (never) used it as a dining room. I have a corner with a table piled high with fabric, various sewing and quilting tools, my sewing machine, fabric scraps, patterns, pieced quilt tops awaiting quilting, quilted tops awaiting binding, spools of thread, a tool caddy that sometimes has room to spin so that I can turn it to see what is in it, baseball cards that once were collected by my husband and now belong to my middle son (really don't belong on MY TABLE!!), upholstery fabric and the "guts" of a chair my husband took apart because he "knows he can reupholster it himself (also really doesn't belong on MY TABLE)----and Mary, I honestly am not sure what else might be on that table and am kind of afraid to look!

"The floor around the table, alas, is not much better, but I can see it. It is a lovely hardwood that my husband installed himself, and he did an excellent job on it! I have made an effort to be somewhat neat, though. I have a paper bag taped to the table so that when I cut threads or scraps or have trash, I can efficiently throw those things right in the bag! Isn't that great?!

"As messy as this sounds to many people, this kind of disorganized chaos just works for me. Somehow I just "know" where things are! Every now and then I get a little frustrated, but that's usually when I'm looking at a quilting magazine or book at a picture of some lucky person's "quilt studio" that has the square footage of my entire house. After awhile my skin changes back from an ugly green color to it's natural rosy color, and I return to my messy little corner and sew away. Love your blog and your very neat work area! "

Well, I wouldn't call my workspace "neat", but I'm glad Janet enjoys this blog. And I admire her passion for quilting. I started two quilts years ago -- and I mean, YEARS ago! -- for my two oldest daughters' beds. I sewed many of their clothes when they were little, and I used the left over material scraps for the quilts. Unfortunately, I got so busy with my growing family that I never finished either one of them. Now I wish I had so the girls could have them for their own childrens' beds.

In closing, I have to explain something about the quilts pictured here. They are not Janet's. I found these photos on, a great website that offers quilters everything from patterns to thread to backing. If you're a quilter and enjoy salivating over the many choices offered by a site like this, do wander over and take a look at the offerings there.

But come back on Monday when I'll anounce the winners of my "Neat or Cluttered?" contest. And next week I'll be sharing my thoughts on "Spring Training -- When Grown Men Act Like Boys Again". Wait until you see my photos for that one! :)


  1. I love quilts. Still remember my grandmother's quilting parties! Beautiful pictures, too.


  2. Those quilts are so cute! Where's the mess? We need to see that too.

    Morgan Mandel

  3. Oh these quilts are gorgeous!

  4. Sorry, Morgan. No mess to show on post. Janet's keeping her secrets to herself. :)

    Caryn, I totally agree with you. There are even more quilts shown on, and some of them are down right GORGEOUS!

    Mary, I remember the beautiful quilts in my grandmother's house, quilts she made for all the beds. I believe my aunt inherited them when my grandmother died. Her children probably have them now. At least, I hope they do. They were real keepsakes.

  5. The are beautiful, I love looking at quilts and tapestries.

    Margot Justes

  6. I have double clutter--my writing space shares with my quilting space. From time to time I get everything cleared away, the surface of the desk emerges displaying worn contact paper.(It's an old door over two small file cabinets) My cutting table is stacked with fabrics and rulers and I have to move some of it onto the desk to cut out pieces. I'm not sure (but willing to try) if I would be less cluttered with a larger space.

    Barbara Graham

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